Staton Cruises to Two-Barrel Late Model Win at Dixieland Speedway Collecting $4,000
Elizabeth City, NC – Veteran racer John Staton led flag-to-flag to claim the annual Two-Barrel Budweiser Late Model win at eastern North Carolina’s motor speedway. Staton of Chesapeake, Virginia, made his first start in 2019 and began the 50-lap race from the pole position. The driver of the number 17 machine led the parade of 17-late model stock cars and quickly checked out on the field. Several battles on the speedway developed for multiple positions, but the most aggressive was for second place with more than four cars vying for it, and at times so close a blanket could have been thrown over them.
It took three attempts to start the event as multiple drivers were involved in incidents before lap one. The most serious was when outside pole-sitter Brent Robinson bobbled in turns three and four forcing multiple drivers to check up to avoid contact. This set off a chain reaction of events that carried over on the front stretch when Ryan Steeley’s vehicle overturned beside Billy Hubbard. Steeley’s night was over early and Hubbard was able to limp along.
Willie Milliken of Roanoke Rapids appeared to be a possible contender for the win until his car experienced mechanical issues while running inside the top three in the second half of the event.
In the end, Staton was able to hold off Ethan Wilson of Fayetteville who piloted the winning car from the last two years when Dustin Mitchell steered it. Robbie Emory of Milton, Delaware finished third and Russell Erwin of Beaverdam, Virginia claimed fourth.
“It was very sweet,” said Staton in victory lane. “I want to thank God for a safe night and really want to dedicate this race to Greg Hubbard. He was a great friend of mine.
Staton earned $4K for the victory.
Troy Brickhouse navigated his car back to winner’s circle for the second time in 2019 in the Rapid Ron’s Racing Sportsman division. The Elizabeth City racer dominated the 20-lap race that was slowed four times for spins involving Kris Staton and third place qualifier Doug Lincoln among others. Joe Weiss nearly made it to the end with a fourth-place finish until his car expired on the final lap. He ended up finishing 10th.
Following Brickhouse across the line was Mark Overman, who earned second, his best finish of the season and Brad Cox claimed third in his first start in 2019.
Points leader Mark Gonzales had problems from the early stages of the evening as he was not able to qualify his car when it broke during practice. His crew worked feverishly over the next two hours to get it to race-ready condition, subjecting him to start at the rear of the field. Racing in the back has its challenges and Gonzales saw his fair share after being caught up in an earlier incident. He was able to carry on and muster a fourth-place finish. Gonzales maintains the points lead by a narrow two markers over Brickhouse headed into Friday night’s races.
Josh Letson made a triumphant return to victory lane Friday after claiming the Little Caesars Super Street win, his second of the season. Letson started the 20-lap feature on the outside pole and quickly worked his way around pole-sitter Kevin Tacy. The battle for the top spot intensified near the latter stages of the event when Kevin Bray of Maple, North Carolina mounted a serious challenge. Bray was on the rear bumper of Letson when his car suddenly slowed on lap 14, ending his opportunity for a victory.
Josh Letson held off Justin Pruitt who finished second, Allen Shiflett third and Dennis Barnes rounded out the top four. Pruitt started at the rear of the field and worked throughout the night to get his car to the front. In a bizarre event during track roll-in before practice, Pruitt’s Chevrolet Monte Carlo went over the embankment in turn four and became stuck. Fortunately for the 24-year old Chesapeake racer, his car experienced no damage and was able to compete with no issues.
With his second-place finish, Pruitt overtakes Dennis Barnes as the new championship standings leader. He leads Barnes by a slim two points.
James Hissom, Jr. bounced back with a vengeance on Friday after a miserable run one-week prior with a blown engine and a disappointing finish. This time he was able to beat the competition by crossing the finish line first in the 15-lap event. The Moyock native held off Justin Bohn and Louise Pasderetz, who claimed their career-best finishes of second and third. With the win, Hissom padded his points lead over Kolton Stevens by 22 points. Trevor Battoia is now only two points outside of second place.
The action heats back up again on Friday evening during Biggs Cadillac, Buick, GMC night with a special 40-lap, $1,000 to win Rapid Ron’s Racing Sportsman event. The Budweiser Allstar Late Models, Little Caesars Super Streets, Biggs Cadillac, Buick, GMC Stock Fours and R & D Super Fours will also compete. Gates open at 5:00 p.m. Racing begins at 8:00 p.m. Tickets will be available for purchase in person. For more information dial 252-771-5151 or visit online at dixielandspeedway.net.
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About Dixieland Speedway:
Dixieland Speedway is northeastern North Carolina’s premier action track. The 3/8-mile dirt oval has hosted exciting Friday night racing since 1983. Long straightaways and tight turns lead to intense on-track action. The clay track is 55 feet wide and turns one and two are banked at 12 degrees, while turns three and four are eight-degrees. Race fans from all over the region have come to witness spectacular side by side racing through the years. The family-friendly facility offers something for everyone as on-track action keeps fans on the edge of their seats all night long. Refreshment and souvenir stands are on site. Tickets for all events are available for purchase in person. Don’t miss your chance to see why they call Dixieland, the track that started it all. To learn more, visit dixielandspeedway.net or follow Dixieland Speedway on Facebook (Dixieland Speedway), Twitter (@DixielandSpdwy) and Instagram (@dixielandspeedway). Information by phone, dial 252-771-5151. Dixieland Speedway is located at 1520 Northside Road in Elizabeth City.